Tag Archives: Work

This is how to have a great weekend

DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH!  If you think this is a joke – Not!What is the old saying, “Nothing like a reformed prostitute”?

Preach, preach, preach.  Wasn’t in that profession (I might be rich:), but I can relate to drinking too much and throwing away a period of time in my life that has tortured me for thirty years after.  I thought I was in control.  I thought I was just being social.  I thought I needed a drink or two to relax and be comfortable and with the crowd.  I thought a drink would take the edge off of the stress of the day.  I thought since it was legal and “pushed” there could be nothing wrong with a glass of wine at night, or a drink.  I thought, I thought, I thought.

Then I drank, I drank, I drank.  I never went to AA.  I was never a smelly drunk laying on the street with an empty bottle in my hand.

I was a “functional” drinker.  I could partake and still take care of all my responsibilities and my children and husband.  HOWEVER…..there is no such animal.  You can fool yourself, but you will not fool your children, or your family and friends.

Alcohol is a seductive and nasty drug.  It will take you down over and over again.  ”Methinketh thou protests too much” Shakespeare wrote…..you know you can handle it.  This doesn’t apply to you.

Okay – I am being brutally honest about myself because I CARE.  Brutally honest because I found, thirty years later, there were still things I did not remember because of blackouts.  I am lucky to be alive.  I am blessed.  I do not want you to go through the same hell for a drink!

I wrote this about fifteen years ago, and would like to share it with you.  REAL STRESS MANAGEMENT does not include a drink “because you need it to relax”.  That is a lie and in the long run it will take charge and it CAN ruin your life.  Think about it.  Great goals are never easy.  But from experience I can tell you – absolutely worth the effort!  God bless.

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My Friend

You’ve been my friend for over thirty years.  Still, we teeter between love and hate.

You were with me for the good times.  You were with me when I was down or in pain.

You were my friend when I was lonely and felt I had no other friend.

You gave me courage when I felt insecure, you made me forget.

You’ve been with me to heaven’s gate and then to the gates of hell.

It seems you’ve always been near, within my reach.

 

At times I hated you, but just when I thought you were gone for good, little by little,

You subtly sneaked your way back into my life.

You’ve always had your way with me.

You, my treacherous friend sometimes made me turn into someone else, a monster.

You made me seething with hatred and anger.

You made me think I wanted to kill myself.

You stole my will.

You made me see from a perspective that was not my own.

 

You sucked the life from me and yet I found myself calling on you again and again!

You invaded every area of my life, took me up and then dropped me down again.

You usurped my energy and spirituality.

You took my creativity, my intellect, and my motivation to be me.

 

When we parted you still affected my days and nights.  I thought I needed you.

You almost killed me more than once with your reckless and distorted control.

You lure me into that altered state of consciousness, to be drunk.

To sleep the perpetual sleep, never perceiving reality.

Never to see the true shining star from within.

 

You are NO FRIEND OF MINE John Barleycorn.  You are alcohol, the devil in disguise. You and your associates will not steal my life again. I vow you will not win.

 

You are socially acceptable.  You are legal.  You are NO FRIEND OF MINE!

 

 

Mid-life Crisis?

Are you at the point in your life when you are seriously thinking about divorce or ending your relationship?  This post is for all relationships, because all humans sometimes suffer similar emotions.

 There is no sudden biological event that causes these emotional changes in a male, at least not comparable to the female menopause. Both sexes find may find themselves with similar emotional challenges between the age of forty and fifty, though it can be different timing – as different as we are human beings. Both sexes however, have some of the same feelingsduring the menopause and a man’s mid-life crisis. 

 Do any of these “symptoms” ring a bell?

             -depression

             - anxiety            

           - irritability

            -fatigue

            -overall unhappiness with life

            -self-pity

 Those are challenges both sexes need to be aware of to address the emotional turmoil that may envelop a relationship. 

 I find that if I “know” there is a reason for some feelings, I am    better able to meet the challenges of them and not drift a part in my relationship.  Therein, AWARENESS is a beginning.

Women are more likely to talk about their “transition”, but men are more likely unwilling to talk about their crisis.  What is more, they may not even realize what is happening, deliberately ignore it, or even worse, ignore the fact that aging is taking place!

Why there is a negative connotation attached to menopause and a mid-life crisis is a mystery to me.  It should be viewed as perhaps one of the most exciting times in life. 

Other than childhood, no other decade is more complex, interesting, exciting, and unsettled.  We face change, crisis, flux, growth and intense challenges.

Both transitions have been written about, but in fairness, more about women’s changes than men’s.  That is why I will lean towards explaining more about the “man change” as I like to call it. 

There are some biological changes to review first. A man will lose some physical and muscle tone, his body weight is shifting and some men begin to loose hair.

Because so much emphasis has been placed on self-image, some men begin to view themselves as less of a man.  The ego is bruised. 

Lastly, the social aspect of his life may be affected.  The world, in clear tones, tells both men and women that life isn’t very meaningful after forty-five or fifty.

For those of you men facing this, and all men will, if you can remember it is normal to the human life and YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT.  Take a breath!  Better to be prepared than to think you are going crazy.

You are already dealing with adapting to a new world of technology, and an economic crisis with lots of job losses faces us all The man change can bring cynicism.  You’d hoped by now life would be settled and you would be on your way to retirement.  You are caught between generations – your adolescent children and your aging parents.  Everyone needs attention.  Our culture emphasizes that only the young people can have outrageous fun, and jokes about again seem to confirm it Youth is worshiped, which devalues everyone else.  Everyone knows older people have nothing to live for anyway. 

Aside from the youth cult putting you down, you have too much pressure bringing home the bacon and trying to make everyone happy!  Sometimes you feel just like a machine.  You feel like an inadequate vending machine, with everyone pushing your buttons.

On top of it teenagers are having their growth “crisis” at the same time a man might have his!  Is there any wonder now, guys, why sometimes you feel like running away? 

 Your crisis, just like a woman’s menopause, affects everything in your life.  But it doesn’t have to be a reason to run away, quit your job, or have an affair with a twenty year old.  So many men have gone off the deep end, NOT KNOWING their feelings are legitimate and important to face squarely.  You’ve not been a coward before, and this is a natural part of life.  Perhaps you didn’t realize the basis for your feelings, but knowing they are normal may help you and your partner to learn to turn things to a better path and a calmer time.

You can put your enemies in a line, like ducks in a row.  Your first enemy is your waning physical prowess and strength.  Enemy number two is work that you feel is trapping you.  The third enemy is your wife and family.   What is the ultimate enemy?  Why God, of course!

“How could a loving God make me like this.  He is ultimately to blame.

Now that we have identified that you guys really are going through some heavy crap….what are we going to do about it?  There is hope!

For now I must close the post and meet with the RN who comes over to check up on me twice a week.  I am better, but it is a slow process.

Tomorrow we will find ways to cope and rise above these hard times.  You need to do this for your peace and happiness, and so you don’t accidentally dump what is really important to you during a fit of anger or depression.  In the meantime, take a breath.  Find a way to steal a few minutes to take a hot bath (real men take baths!)  or just relax and enjoy the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORK STRESS

Work Related Stress

This post is dedicated to all of you who EARN a paycheck (outside of the home). There are many kinds of “work”, but today I am speaking to those of you who are getting ready to go, are already at work, or those who have the day off for one reason or another.

My husband gave me a good example of handling work stress the other day. At first he came home and said he felt like a slave to his bosses. “They are dumping everything on me, and working me to death.” he started. I thought it was going to be bad.

Then he looked at me and said, “But I don’t care – they are paying me good and I’ll be their slave, even if it means emptying the trash cans. At least I am working, and at least I bring home a good check.”

Guess what? He handled it perfectly to waylay stress being packed tightly inside and waiting for the implosion. He figured out a way to put it in a perspective that kept him level and managed his stress.

That is what you need to do too. I don’t mean suck it up and do everyone else’s work, or do things that you know are improper. But be a realist to the point that you are working! That is a big plus these days. You are getting paid to spend your hours fulfilling your duties.

Here is where you need to be careful. If you are buried and simply can’t handle another task, learn to say “No. Can’t do this as my plate is full.” Be honest and stand firm if it is the right thing to do.

If you “choose” to take on extra work, then be prepared to be tired and maybe reach an impasse that becomes a challenge. Because you accept the challenge, be also prepared to handle the potential for stress. That might come with the territory.

Stress monster

monster

When you feel the stress monster attacking, use your best weapon against blowing up. Breathe!

You know stress is taking over when your thinking becomes cluttered, or your shoulders tighten, or you begin to get frustrated and cranky. You’ve probably already started “shallow breathing” (which happens unbeknown to us as stress edges it’s way inside). That shallow breathing CAUSES a lack of oxygen – therein, muscles tightening, less oxygen to the brain to think optimally, and less control of your emotions.

Breathe! It is your secret weapon, and if you think that is silly, think again!
As you breathe in slowly your oxygen relaxes the shoulders, your thinking becomes less muddled, and you find your intellect takes control instead of your raging emotions. Now that is an effective weapon to use, and it’s FREE and available throughout every waking minute of the day.

Breathe in slowly; breathe out slowly. Do it several times before responding to a “situation.”

You are in charge of YOU.

Thoughts for the day

After studying stress management for over thirty years, I have some simple but life altering techniques, observations and realizations I hope to share with you.

We all have the power to transform the natural stress that comes from living into energy capable of improving our physical and spiritual health.

Secret number one is that the essence of life is transformation. These simple words hold the key for changing your life for the better. Join me and see if it is not so.  These are thoughts for the day that can transform your life and the lives of others.

Cherish your pets and the lives of all animals.  They are gifts to us and can be dear friends.

 

Remember to look for all those blessings we take for granted.  The breeze in the trees, the sound of singing birds, the laughter of a child, these are all blessings we can enjoy!

Look at your surroundings as if you were a visitor.

Love.  Do a kindness for someone.

“Humble beginnings or wealth from the start, what truly matters are things of the heart”.

Take your family for a walk, or just do something spontaneous for fun together.

Don’t keep yourself in a prison.  Take a break from your electronics and refresh the memory of talking to a real human, or sitting in the sunshine!

Take a breath.  Stretch.  Smile.

Make a point of actually playing with your children while they are small. Catch a fish, catch a ball, catch precious moments that are only there for one short period of time.

Watch the sun rise as darkness lifts, watch the sunset.  How many times have you left to see the stars at night or revel in the full moon?  Not enough in a lifetime for me.

If you can’t leave – take a mental vacation.  Even if it’s just for a minute or two, visualize a favorite place.  Listen to the sounds of nature.  Take a breath and use your mind to renew your zest for life.

Cherish the earth.  It is our home.

Cherish your body.  It is the only place your Spirit has to live!

Don’t let the sour expressions or negative attitudes of people affect your day.  Do not forget to laugh.  It is healing!

Thank your Creator for the multitude of every day  blessings we take for granted!  Sacrifice a bit of your time for someone who needs help, or a hug!

It is a choice.  Let your light shine through and be grateful for small miracles.  Start a cycle of sharing smiles and positive thoughts.

YOU CAN DO IT!  CREATE a wonderful day.  If you have made poor choices – you are the only one that can make a move onward and upward.  Love yourself too!

 

 

 

When Your Stress Level At Work Feels Like a Disaster Waiting to happen……

TAKE A TIME OUT! Use these simple exercises to gain an edge on the impending disaster.

The workplace can be a major source of stress and physical tension.  If you don’t have a gym to use at work (and most of us don’t) you can relax and defuse office stress without leaving your desk.  You need to untie your knotty muscles.

The first way to begin to relieve the tension from jangling nerves, pulled up shoulders, tired eyes, and all kinds of stressors generated at work is to sit straight and take a deep breath.  You NEED oxygen!  Your best intellect will blossom with mindful breathing.

When we are under stress we stop breathing!  Think about it.  We kind of pull in a small breath and tighten up.  Take a “time out” to manage this stress.

Take a deep breath, and another, and another.  Use “quick breath” if need be.  Quick breath is achieved by taking in several short bursts of oxygen and then expelling them in the same way.

Now TAKE THE TIME to do the following moves (one or all). You will be better for yourself and more productive for what you are doing.

Start in a neutral position at your desk.  Your arms and legs should bend at ninety-degree angles when you are seated.

Adjust the backrest or use a cushion to support your lower back. Relax and breathe.

Upper-back stretch: place your hands on your shoulders and twist at the waist until you feel a stretch across your upper back.  Return to center and twist the other way. Relax and breathe.

Neck Roll:  Slowly drop your head to the left and then to the right. Now drop it to the chest.  Drop your shoulders and lift your neck as if in traction.  Relax and breathe.

Chest Stretch:  Grasp you arms behind your neck and press your elbows back until you feel a pull across the chest.  Relax and breathe.

Arm Circles:  Raise your arms straight out from sides and rotate in small circles, first forward, then backward. Relax and breathe.

Shoulder shrugs:  Rotate your shoulders five times in one direction. Reverse direction. Relax and breathe.

Side Stretch:  Lock fingers and left your arms over your head until elbows are straight.  Then lean to left, and to the right.  Relax and breathe.

Finger flex:  With hands in front and palms down, spread thumbs and fingers as far apart as you can.  Hold to count of 5 and relax.

Wrist twist:  Extend on arm in front of you.  Use the other hand to bend the outstretched fingers up and back.  Repeat with the opposite hand.

One or all of these moves can be done within just a few minutes.  When you are feeling like you just can’t go any further, slow down, and do EVERYONE a favor, and do these exercises to reduce your stress level.

You are not only going to help yourself, but your performance at work will improve!  Use one or all of these moves (and the breathing) as a secret weapon to combat stress in the workplace.

How About a Five-Minute Vacation? Learn to Improve Your Workday Today!

Common terms used to describe the mental condition of those of us who must concentrate, meet deadlines, provide a service for people, and adjust to the demands of the work world and family life include “stress”, “burnout”, and usually “exhaustion”.

The drive for efficiency and increasing costs of providing for basic life functions, add to the pressures, as does the stress simply caused by change.

We all need help in “time management, as it is one remedy that does enable people to cope.  If you want to head towards a more healthful workday, incorporate five-minute vacations when you can.

Those who give of themselves to others, whether at work or at home, must have time for replenishing vital forces from within themselves.

If we are expected to produce ideas, designs, or detailed work, we need a renewal of our intellect and creativity.  Paper pushers, foremen, even harassed mothers, must make time capsules for coping ability and restoration during the day.

The United States Department of Labor website offers laws for specific states regarding breaks and lunch breaks.  Each state differs.

In California the law states that a ten-minute rest period is required for each four hours worked.  After five hours (if you work at least eight hours) you are to be given one-half hour for lunch.

Thankfully, many employers know the value of empowering breaks to regenerate, but even during a brief five-minute respite YOU can really use the time to relax completely.

For just five minutes, mentally (and, if possible, physically) remove yourself from the hurry of work and the demands of others. Use this time to relax completely.  Even if the time is a restroom break, rest and regenerate in whatever room you can!

Use your oxygen to relax and regenerate your body. That can be done anywhere and at any time!  Breathe now, inhaling slowly, and exhaling slowly.  Continue while reading further.

The physiology, or functioning of your organs, will respond to this plug of oxygen by resuming normal functioning, as opposed to being riddled with stress.

If you have the opportunity to get up and move around, do so.  Stretch and take a breath, as you want to invigorate your circulation.  If you are stationery, you can still regenerate.

Breathe and consciously visualize all your muscles going limp for a moment.  Relax, and breathe into your muscles.  Now loosen up by rolling your shoulders forward and then backward.  Drop your head from side to side slowly.  Scrunch fingers together and stretch them out.  Wiggle your toes and rotate your ankles.  This is a GREAT little vacation!

If you are away from the “source” of your stress for a brief time, think about something lovely; dwell on the good that is around you.  Look at a tree or a living plant; consider the diffusion of color and the design and symmetry

Take a five-minute walk outdoors if possible.  Read something funny or think of something to tickle your sense of humor.  Laugh (it’s healing).

Watch others and remember happiness is a CHOICE – no matter what!

Even one minute to breathe and move can give mental strength and invigorate the mind.  Such little “vacations” give a change of pace, needed oxygen, relief from concentration, and stimulate the circulation.

Begin today to incorporate these small “breaks” and you will find a difference in your management of stress right away.  I promise!

Want to manage your stress and have fun too? SHAKE YOUR BOOTY!

Well………so to speak!

Our technology-based culture has made many things easier and faster, but it’s taken a toll on the human body.  You may spend you day hunched over a computer, sitting in traffic behind a steering wheel, or crammed into “space” that seems to get smaller and smaller  (such as city streets, the market, theatres, etc).

As a direct result of this cramping of the human body people are loosing the ability to use their bodily core – the combination of shoulders, hip and torso – in a powerful and efficient manner.  Though we are sitting on our gluteus maximus for longer hours, we are not using the muscles as nature intended-propelling the hips forward regularly.

That’s because we sit on the glutes and that causes the muscles opposite to them (hip flexors) to become short and stiff.

All this sitting, rolling of the shoulders forward, and relaxing of the abdominal muscles are playing havoc with our flexibility, our strength and endurance, and YES, our stress level!

You live in your body and when it’s not being used correctly, even your intellect suffers.  So let’s do a tiny bit, right now, to activate your body and begin to feel better (and definitely less stressed out!)

First take a deep breath in through the nose quite slowly.  Hold a second or two.  Exhale through the mouth, from the bottom of the abdominal area and out.  Do this several times.

Take a moment and squeeze your left butt cheek.  Let it relax. Now squeeze your right cheek.  Let it relax.   Congrats!  That is how to activate your glutes.  You can do this throughout the day.  It’s a secret way to work those muscles

If you learn to activate and fire your glutes, constantly, you will be on your way to mobility, and body stability.

Take a few more breaths and consciously hold your abs in, straighten and drop your shoulders.  Now roll the shoulders in circles going towards your back (ten times).  Reverse.

Stand up and clasp your hands and stretch to the sky.  “Shake” hands as you bring them down.  Stretch any way it feels good, and walk around somewhere for a minute or two-down the hall and back?  Whatever you can squeeze in at the moment.

You will help your body to function optimally, and begin to manage your stress by activating your circulation and helping your body to relax.  You are in charge of you!

Create a wonderful day!